An Invitation to Collaborate on

PROPHECY

A Video Poem

We planted the seed for Prophecy in conversations between Ricardo Levins Morales, Xioalu Wang, and Tahiel Jimenez.

We would like your help in growing the project and bringing to life!

It is based on a poem written by Ricardo.

Our intention is to transform it into a visual experimental narrative, also known as a video poem.

We hope to co-create this project with you! Our collaborators would include different organizations, organizers, and activists in our communities. Together with the film team (Xiaolu & Tahiel), we can have a conversation about how to collaborative represent the section of the poem you would represent.

We want this piece to be created solely by POC artists and POC-led organizations.

We hope the creation and viewing of this poem fuels us and vitalizes our spirits. We imagine Prophecy, with its poetic melding of compassion and sharp clarity, will be passed around through communities and social movements and be played at community events to warm and energize the heartbeats of our people.

This is an example that has a similar tone to what we hope to create with you:

Our idea is different because we will combine multiple voices and visuals from different communities.

COLLABORATORS

In order to make this vision a reality, we would like to partner with different collaborators around the cities.

We are asking you as collaborators to bring together people in your community/organization to chant/read/perform your section of the poem. It could also be chanted by just one person or you if that is more appealing. We would like to have conversation about how you envision expressing your section of the poem. After that, we will film beautiful and impactful visuals of you or your organization. In the editing process, we will collage your voices and visuals with the voices of other collaborators into a impactful and visually poetic video poem.

We hope the process is as fulfilling for everyone involved as the final piece and that we can combine our skills and resources to create a symbolic and collectively powerful video poem.

So at what stage are we? Ricardo, Xiaolu, and Tahiel met multiple times to break down the poem and develop some initial concepts. We wrote down ideas for imagery for each section and would like to develop it further with our collaborators. We created a list of potential collaborators and we applied for a NALAC grant last year. We did not receive it. We plan to continue to apply for grants for this project including the Community Partnership Grant through MRAC.

At the moment, we do not have any funds but we have already filmed the teaser for the project with our own resources. We feel committed to bring Prophecy to life.

At this moment, we would like to find collaborators and organizations who feel excited by this project and would like to be a part of it.

FUNDING

After we have a collaborator interested in each section, we will continue the conversation with the interested groups and either apply for more funding or do a small online fundraising to cover the minimum costs.

We are also open to filming without funds but that would require your time and energy without compensation. We acknowledge this is not ideal.

As we make progress with filming, we will have a stronger application for grants with the already filmed clips.

We have abundance without the need for grants but we would like to pay to anyone who is involved in the making of this piece. If collaborators are open, we will develop the concept and film their parts without initial payment and hope to later compensate for each other’s time.

We are excited to create Prophecy and are open to starting the project without initial monetary funding. We can pool resources and energy together.

TIMELINE

There is no constrains on timeline for this project but we would like to begin filming this as soon as possible and slowly bring the pieces together. It would be preferable if we could film the majority of the film this Summer.

THE POEM:

I know which way to go because the heart beats out a rhythm

The heart beats out a rhythm and I know which way to go

It may be hard to show how it imposes its decisions

But I swear that I must listen like the grass must choose to grow


There are memories of power in the dreaming of the living

We dream the living memory of power in our hands

I don’t make a plan, I play the hand that I am given

And I’m given to believing in the rhythms of the land


When they burned us from our villages they left them charred and smoking

To the raging rivers and the screaming of the stars

And the children heard the wailing as the elders’ hearts were broken

And a token of resistance was encoded in our scars


Into endless exploitation we were driven in confusion

In resistance and collusion at a price we couldn’t know

Condemned to isolation in a nation of illusion

In a wasteland of pollution where the spirits will not go


After dying there is breathing, there is living after grieving

There is dreaming after crying, after silence there is voice

And there is no power greater than the laughter of the living

And the living live in laughter ‘cause we do not have a choice


The guardians of greed cannot conceal where they are leading

On an endless escalation of their Earth-destroying curse

But the ancestors demand that I declare without retreating

That the wound will not be healed until the crime has been reversed


You can listen in a seashell to the rhythms of the ocean 

You can listen to the ocean beat its rhythms in a shell

It’s the never-ending chanting of an ancient world in motion

The relentless incantation of its life-creating spell


Like a seed that comes to life when it is given life to grow on

There’s a time-entrusted token we’re commanded to recall

That the continents, the oceans and the skies belong to no one 

And what belongs to no one is the heritage of all


The world belongs to no one and by no one can be taken

It’s the wonder of creation that’s bestowed on us at birth

It’s a seed of transformation that is destined to awaken

In the thunder of a memory released upon the Earth

NEXT STEPS:

If you are interested in participating in the project, we can set up a time to meet with the film team and have a conversation about the concept for your part of the poem as well as potential shooting dates. If you have any suggestions or comments, we would love to hear those as well.

Please email Tahiel at: tahiel.j@gmail.com